Glossary of terms

Here are some of the common terms relating to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) that you may come across in your professional and personal lives. By educating ourselves and ensuring we use the right language, we will develop confidence and competence in our conversations with others and promote inclusion in our communities. This list is not comprehensive and will evolve over time. We are open to input from our community at any time.

Please note that some content may be difficult to read depending on your lived experience.

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See also Protected characteristics.


Ableism: A system that places value on people’s bodies and minds based on societally constructed ideas of normalcy, intelligence, excellence, and productivity. This form of systemic oppression leads to people and society determining who is valuable and worthy based on a person’s appearance and/or their ability to satisfactorily [re]produce, excel, and “behave.” You do not have to be disabled to experience ableism. Coined in 2019 by Talila A. Lewis in response to racism, capitalism, and colonization.

Access: Equitable acquisition of resources or benefits for people living with disabilities or historically marginalized peoples.

Accomplice: Accomplices are willing to take the necessary steps to ensure that their workplace is safe from physical, verbal, and mental abuse (i.e., microaggressions). To be an accomplice, one must be willing to do more than listen; they must be willing to stand with those who are being attacked, excluded, or otherwise mistreated, even if that means suffering personal or professional backlash. Being an accomplice means being willing to act with and for oppressed peoples and accepting the potential fallout from doing so.

ADHD/ADD: Attention Deficit (and Hyperactivity) Disorder is characterised by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity which can interfere with executive function. Those with ADHD may also have additional comorbidities, such as depression, difficulty falling or staying asleep and social or general anxiety disorders. These can result as either a consequence of ADHD itself, or the effects it has on one’s life. The causes of ADHD are not fully understood, but it is known to be neurodevelopmental, meaning it is due to how the brain and nervous system develop during someone’s upbringing. ADHD often runs in families and is highly genetic. ADHD can occur in people of any intellectual ability.

Advocacy: Advocacy means getting support from another person to help you express your views and wishes, and help you stand up for your rights. Someone who helps you in this way is called your advocate.

Ageism: Prejudice or discrimination against individuals or groups based on their age, particularly the elderly. The term was coined in 1969 by Robert Neil Butler to describe discrimination against seniors and patterned on sexism and racism.

Ally: A term used to describe those who recognize their privilege and use it to work in solidarity with targets of oppression. Inclusive allyship is the practice of emphasising social justice, inclusion, and human rights by members of an ingroup, to advance the interests of an oppressed or marginalised outgroup. Allyship is part of the anti-oppression or anti-racist conversation, which puts into use social justice theories and ideals.

Anxiety: A feeling of unease, worry, or fear. Everyone has anxiety at some point in their life, for example, before sitting an exam or having a job interview. However, some people find it hard to control their worries so that their feelings of anxiety are more constant and affect their daily life. This can lead to Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), a long-term condition that causes you to feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than one specific event. GAD is a common condition estimated to affect about 1 in every 25 people in the UK. GAD can cause both psychological and physical symptoms, such as insomnia. Anxiety is also the main symptom of several conditions, including panic disorder, phobias, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and social anxiety disorder.

Asexuality: Little to no sexual attraction to others, or low or absent interest in or desire for sexual activity. People with this sexual orientation may refer to themselves as “ace”. A person who is aromantic does not experience romantic attraction. This person does not have to identify as asexual, and they still may experience sensual and aesthetic attraction.

Assimilation: The process in which members of the oppressed group adopt traits of the dominant group, often as part of forced acculturation.

Autism: Also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Condition (ASC), this is a lifelong diagnosis characterised by social and communication difficulties, and repetitive and restricted behaviours. Autism is a spectrum condition and affects people in different ways. A lot of autistic people experience sensory sensitivity due to hyperconnectivity across multiple brain regions, which can lead to overwhelm and anxiousness. However, like all people, autistic people have their own strengths and weaknesses. More than 1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum and there are around 700,000 autistic people in the UK. Previously a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome was given to some who don’t have the learning disabilities that many autistic people have, but they may have learning difficulties. They may have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language. Many people who fit the profile for Asperger syndrome are now being diagnosed with ASC instead due to the problematic history of Hans Asperger. Each person is different, and it is up to the individual how they choose to identify.


Barrier: Barriers in society are differences and inequalities associated with different types of people. Barriers can occur because of gender, ethnicity, race, religion, or socioeconomic status. Structural barriers include prejudice, xenophobia, internalised oppression and privilege, and beliefs about race influenced by the dominant culture. Systemic barriers are policies, practices, or procedures that result in some people receiving unequal access or being excluded.

Bipolar Disorder: A lifelong mental health condition characterised by extreme mood swings between depression and mania (abnormally elevated mood), and sometimes psychotic symptoms. Everyone has good and not-so-good days and experiences mood swings. The Bipolar UK mood scale is from 0 to 10 and those not affected by bipolar will experience mood swings between 4 and 6. If you have bipolar, your mood states go past stable levels and can range from severe depression (0-4) to intense mania (8-10), and anything in between, including mixed episodes, and last longer than a few days, usually a few weeks or longer. Episodes can occur at different times for different people and can be brought on by a triggering experience. Some may never experience certain mood episodes, for example, not everyone with bipolar disorder will experience mania. Previously, bipolar disorder was known as manic depression.

Bisexuality: Sexual attraction to two or more genders. Some people like to use the term pansexual when their romantic and/or sexual attraction towards others is not confined by sex or gender.

Black, Indigenous & People-of-Colour (BIPOC): A term used to describe non-white people.

“Black Lives Matter”: A movement to address systemic violence against Black people. Started in 2013 by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin.


Calling In: Much like calling out, calling in aims to get the person to change their problematic behaviour. The primary difference between calling in and calling out is that calling in is done with a little more compassion and patience. Sometimes people – especially people who are shy, new to social justice activism, or easily hurt – receive messages better when they are sent gently.

Calling Out: Calling someone out serves two primary purposes: It lets that person know they’re being oppressive, and it lets others know that the person was being oppressive. By letting others know about this person’s oppressive behaviour, more people can hold them accountable for their actions. While staying silent about injustice often means being complicit in oppression, calling out lets someone know that what they are doing will not be condoned.

Ceterosexual: Someone who experiences sexual and/or romantic attraction to non-binary and/or genderqueer people. This label is used as a non-problematic alternate for skoliosexual which is to only be used by non-binary and genderqueer people.

Cisgender/Cis: A term used to describe those whose gender identity aligns with their sex assigned at birth.

Class: A system that divides people into categories based on perceived social or economic status.

Closeted/In the Closet: Referring to those who have not disclosed their gender identity or sexual orientation. For example, because they may fear how people around them will react. It is important never to reveal another person’s gender identity or sexual orientation without their permission, which is an action that may be referred to as “outing”.

Colour Blind (Racial): A colour blind society, in sociology, is one in which racial classification and/or racism does not limit a person’s opportunities because everyone is given equal opportunities regardless of their ethnicity. This can also be a microaggression if used to disregard racial differences based on the belief that racial inequality currently doesn’t or no longer exists.

Colourism: Prejudiced thoughts or discriminatory actions against dark-skinned People of Colour, based on light-skinned favouritism.

Concrete Ceiling: An artificial barrier based on attitudinal or organisational bias that prevents qualified individuals from advancing upward in their organisation into management level positions. It is dense and not as easily shattered.

Critical Race Theory: A body of legal scholarship and an academic movement of civil-rights scholars and activists that seeks to critically examine law as it intersects with issues of race and to challenge mainstream liberal approaches to racial justice.

Cultural Appropriation: Theft and ignorant use of knowledge, traditions, or practices for self-benefit, objectification, and commodification.

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Decolonisation: Decolonisation is the undoing of colonialism, whereby a nation has established and maintains its domination of foreign territories.

Demisexual: A person who doesn’t experience sexual attraction unless they form an emotional connection with someone first.

Depression: A mental illness characterised by a low mood that can last a long time or keep returning, affecting everyday life. Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when you’re depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months. Sometimes there is a trigger, such as bereavement, a medical diagnosis, losing your job, or giving birth. Also, people with a family history of depression are more likely to experience it themselves, but you can also become depressed for no obvious reason. Symptoms range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful. Many people with depression also have anxiety. Severe depression can make you feel suicidal. Some people think depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition, but it is a real illness with real symptoms that affects around 1 in 10 people over the course of their lives. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that has a seasonal pattern. The episodes of depression tend to occur at the same time each year, usually during the winter.

Disability: One of the nine protected characteristics, as laid down by the Equality Act 2010, defined as a physical or mental condition which has a substantial and long-term impact on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Autism and other neurodivergent conditions can fit the definition of a disability, but they affect everyone differently. Employers are obliged to provide certain accommodations for disabled employees, such as providing workplace adjustments.

Discrimination: The conscious or unconscious unjust or prejudicial treatment of those with protected characteristics, e.g., race, sex, or disability. You don’t necessarily need to have a protected characteristic to be directly discriminated against because of it. For example, discrimination by association, e.g., a manager treats a heterosexual employee less favourably because they have been seen with a friend who is queer, or by perception, e.g., an employer rejects a masculine-presenting female job applicant who performs best at interview because, due to their appearance, they wrongly assume they are transgender.

Diversity: Diversity is differences in racial and ethnic, socioeconomic, geographic, and academic/professional backgrounds. People with different opinions, backgrounds (degrees and social experience), religious beliefs, political beliefs, sexual orientations, heritage, and life experience.

Diversification: The action of diversifying something or the fact of becoming more diverse.

Dyscalculia: A learning difficulty which makes it hard to conceptualise numbers, size, distance, and shape, and comprehend arithmetic. Dyscalculia does not affect intelligence.

Dysgraphia: A learning difficulty characterised by significant and persistent difficulties in learning academic skills related to writing, such as: grammar, accuracy of spelling and punctuation, and organisation and coherence of ideas in writing. Dysgraphia does not affect intelligence.

Dyslexia: A learning difficulty associated with processing information, resulting in problems in reading fluency and comprehension. Dyslexia can also impact short-term memory, and organisational skills. Dyslexia does not affect intelligence. As with other neurodivergent conditions, dyslexic people can demonstrate above-average ability in certain areas, such as problem-solving, creativity and oral skills. About 10% of the UK population are dyslexic.

Dyspraxia: Otherwise known as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), dyspraxia is a disability resulting in impaired coordination of physical movements, like tying shoelaces, or driving a car. It also affects the planning and sequencing of movement, short-term memory, and organisation. Dyspraxia does not affect intelligence.


Equality: Equality means “the state of being equal”. It’s one of the ideals a democratic society, and so the fight to attain different kinds of equality, like racial equality, gender equality, or equality of opportunity between rich and poor, is often associated with progress toward that ideal of everyone being truly equal.

Equality Act 2010: This law protects people from discrimination. It created nine protected characteristics, including disability, race, and gender, for which a person cannot be treated less favourably than others. For example, declining to offer a person employment solely on the grounds that they are disabled.

Equity: Social equity is concerned with justice and fairness of social policy. Since the 1960s, the concept of social equity has been used in a variety of institutional contexts, including education and public administration.

Ethnicity: The social characteristics that people may have in common, such as language, religion, regional background, culture, foods, etc. Ethnicity is revealed by the traditions one follows, a person’s native language, and so on. Race, on the other hand, describes categories assigned to demographic groups based mostly on observable physical characteristics, like skin colour, hair texture, and eye shape.

Executive Function: Refers to the pre-frontal cortex activities of planning, decision-making, attention capacity, and attention switching and inhibition control. Executive dysfunction is a symptom that happens with conditions that disrupt your brain’s ability to control thoughts, emotions, and behaviour, common in neurodivergent people.


Fascism: A system of oppression based on the preservation of authoritarian nationalism using dictatorship and suppression of opposition.


Gaslighting: A form of emotional abuse. It is the act of manipulating a person by forcing them to question their thoughts, memories, and the events occurring around them. A victim of gaslighting can be pushed so far that they question their own sanity.

Gay: A person who identifies as homosexual, where they are sexually attracted to people of their own sex.

Gender Binary: A system of oppression that divides people into two perceived distinct opposite identities, based on the belief that there are only two genders.

Gender Blindness: The lack of awareness about how people are differently affected by a situation due to their different roles, needs, status, and priorities in their societies based on their gender.

Gender Dysphoria: The condition of feeling one’s emotional and psychological identity to be at variance with one’s birth sex.

Gender Expression: The way in which a person expresses their gender identity, typically through their appearance, dress, and behaviour. Non-conforming or genderqueer can be used to describe those whose gender expression is different from the gender binary social construct.

Gender Identity: Individual or internal sense of gender. This may be fluid for certain people.

Genocide: The process of extermination of a social group by using direct and/or cultural violence.

Glass Ceiling: A metaphor used to represent an invisible barrier that keeps a given demographic from rising beyond a certain level in a hierarchy. The metaphor was first coined by feminists in reference to barriers in the careers of high-achieving women.

Glass Cliff: The glass cliff is the phenomenon of women in leadership roles, such as executives in the corporate world and female political election candidates, being likelier than men to achieve leadership roles during periods of crisis or downturn, when the chance of failure is highest.


Heterosexuality: A person who is sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex, otherwise known as “straight”.

Heteronormativity: A system of oppression that favours heterosexuality, based on the assumption that everyone is or should be straight.

Homophobia: Prejudiced thoughts or discriminatory actions against Queer people.


Identity-first language: Many people prefer to be referred to as, for example, an autistic person rather than a person with autism. This is because they consider it to be part of their identity and not a separate medical disorder.

Implicit Bias: Unconscious beliefs or stereotypes about a social group.

Inclusion: Inclusion is the achievement of an environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to society.

Indigenous: A term used to describe those with immemorial relationships with the land, by ancestry, language, and place-based knowledge.

Inequality: The uneven and unfair distribution of opportunities and rewards that increase power, prestige, and wealth for individuals or groups. Structural inequality occurs when organisations, institutions, governments, or social networks contains an embedded bias which provides advantages for some members and marginalises or produces disadvantages for others. This can involve property rights, status, or unequal access to health care, education and other physical or financial resources or opportunities.

Institutional Racism: A system of oppression based on the preservation of white supremacy using policies and practices.

Intersectionality: The interconnected nature of social categorisations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.

Islamophobia: Prejudiced thoughts or discriminatory actions against Muslim people, based on the hate and/or fear of Islam and Muslim people.


Lesbian: A homosexual woman whose emotional, romantic, and sexual feelings are towards women.

LGBTQIA+: An inclusive term that includes people of all sexual and gender identities. The acronym LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning or queer, intersex, asexual, and the + refers to members of other LGBTQIA+ communities and allies.


Mansplaining: A silencing tactic used by expressing privilege while explaining to members of the opposite sex in a condescending manner.

Marginalisation: The process of oppression by which target groups are excluded from participation in society.

“Me Too”: A movement calling attention to the frequency with which primarily women and girls experience sexual assault, harassment, and violence. Started in 2006 by Tarana Burke and Christy Haubegger, it became widespread following the exposure of the sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

Microaggressions: A statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority.

Minority: A smaller group of people within a community or country, differing from the main population in race, religion, language, or political persuasion.

Misogyny: Prejudiced thoughts and discriminatory actions against women, based on the hatred of women.


Neurodiversity: The term refers to variation in the human brain regarding sociability, learning, attention, mood, and other mental functions in a nonpathological sense. Although neurodiversity encompasses all brain types in the human population, it is commonly taken to refer to neurodivergent conditions such as autism and dyslexia.

Neurodivergent: A nonmedical term that describes those whose brain develops, processes, learns, or functions differently. Those who are neurodivergent can have unique skills, question existing practises and structures, and be creative and innovative due to their different perspectives.

Neurotypical: Those that display or are characterised by neurologically typical patterns of thought or behaviour, within the parameters that have not been defined as neurodivergent. It is important to respect our differences but not to draw a line between neurotypical and neurodivergent people as human neurodiversity is highly complex.


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): A common mental health condition where a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours. An obsession is an unwanted and unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters your mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust, or unease. A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that you feel you need to do to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought. For example, someone with an obsessive fear of being burgled may feel they need to check all the windows and doors are locked several times before they can leave their house. It’s not clear what causes OCD, but several different factors may play a part, including family history, differences in the brain, life events, or personality. There are misconceptions about OCD where some people think it means you wash your hands a lot or you like things to be tidy. They might even describe themselves as a ‘little bit OCD’, this can be frustrating and upsetting to someone who has OCD. The condition affects as many as 1.2% of the UK population, regardless of age, gender, social, or cultural background.

“One Percent”: A movement to address social and economic inequality, and corporate influence on politics. Started in 2011, it became global as a response against the increasing concentration of wealth in the top 1% of the population.

Oppression: The combination of prejudice and institutional power which creates a system that discriminates against some groups and benefits others. Examples of these systems are racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, classism, ageism, and anti-Semitism. These systems enable dominant groups to exert control over target groups by limiting their rights, freedom, and access to basic resources such as health care, education, employment, and housing.

Organisational Culture: Defines the proper way to behave within the organisation. This culture consists of shared beliefs and values established by leaders and then communicated and reinforced through various methods, ultimately shaping employee perceptions, behaviours and understanding.

Organisational Values: Principles or standards of behaviour that represent an organisation’s highest priorities, deeply held beliefs, and fundamental driving forces. They are at the heart of what organisations and employees stand for from an ethical perspective.


Patriarchy: A system of oppression based on perceived male supremacy.

Passing: Perceived membership of a dominant social group that results in privilege for target group members. For example, this could be a POC who is assumed white, or a queer person who is assumed straight.

Performative Allyship: Far from being supportive, performative allyship stifles progress and has the detrimental effect of suppressing attempts to foster genuinely inclusive environments. It maintains the status quo and renders illegitimate any attempts to change processes that support structural racism and other barriers.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A form of mental illness caused by exposure to traumatic events. The condition was first recognised in war veterans, so was previously known as “shell shock”, but it’s not only diagnosed in soldiers. A person with PTSD will often relive the events through nightmares and flashbacks and may experience feelings of alertness like nowhere is safe, guilt and anxiety, insomnia, and difficulty maintaining concentration. Some people also experience physical symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, chest pains, and stomach aches.

Prejudice: A judgment or opinion that is formed on insufficient grounds before facts are known or in disregard of facts that contradict it. Prejudices are learned and can be unlearned.

Privilege: Privilege operates on personal, interpersonal, cultural, and institutional levels and gives advantages, favours, and benefits to members of dominant groups at the expense of members of target groups. Privilege is characteristically invisible to people who have it. People in dominant groups often believe that they have earned the privileges that they enjoy or that everyone could have access to these privileges if only they worked to earn them. In fact, privileges are unearned, and they are granted to people in the dominant groups whether they want those privileges or not, and regardless of their stated intent.

Protected Characteristics: Specific aspects of a person’s identity defined by the Equality Act 2010. These are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. The ‘protection’ relates to protection from discrimination. See also Protected Characteristics.

Pronouns: Words that people use to refer to others without using their names, e.g., she/her, he/him, they/them. Using a person’s correct pronouns affirms a person’s gender identity.


Queer: An identity label that is non-specific about a person’s sexual orientation, often to emphasise fluidity of sexual attraction and gender identity. An LGBTQIA+ term that the community is reclaiming, as it was originally a derogatory slur.

Questioning: To be unsure of or re-examining one’s previous assumption of their own sexual orientation.


Race: A social construct that divides people into categories based on perceived differences and white supremacy. Racism precedes race.

Racial Equality: Everyone is given the same resources regardless of circumstances.

Racial Equity: Providing resources to marginalised groups to allow them access to fair and impartial opportunities.

Racism: A system of oppression based on the preservation of white supremacy. Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism by an individual, community, or institution against a person or people based on their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalised. The belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another.

Reasonable Adjustment: A change in the environment, typically a workplace, to remove or reduce the effect of a person’s disability so they can progress effectively. They are tailored for the individual’s needs, for example, a typical adjustment for an autistic person is providing access to a quiet place to work due to sensitivity to background noise. Adjustments for disabled employees are mandated by the Equality Act 2010.

Representation: The action of speaking or acting on behalf of someone or the state of being so represented.

Restorative Justice: The process of achieving justice rooted in Indigenous practices, using inclusion, harm repair, amends, and community reintegration.


Safe Space: A place or environment in which a person or category of people can feel confident that they will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment, or any other emotional or physical harm.

Saliency: The traits of a group identity that an individual is more conscious of and more impacted by, depending on the social context.

Senior Citizens: A term used to describe people with socially constructed traits of being “Elderly”, “Old Age”, “Ages 60-65+”, or “Retired.”

Sex Assigned at Birth: A term used to describe a socially determined “biological sex” based on external genitalia.

Sexism: A system of oppression based on the preservation of the patriarchy.

Sexual Orientation: Who a person is, or is not, attracted to either sexually or romantically. There are many ways of identifying, and a person may identify more with one sexuality than another at different points during their life. People do not need to identify with one or any type of sexual orientation. However, some may find that choosing a “label” for their sexual or romantic orientation helps them form communities with others who may share similar experiences. People may also sit under an umbrella term but don’t have a label that accurately describes their experience.

Social Justice: Justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.

Stereotype: An exaggerated or distorted belief that attributes characteristics to members of a particular group, simplistically grouping them together and refusing to acknowledge differences among members of the group.

Stimming: Self-stimulation or “stimming” refers to repetitive behaviours often used by autistic people to assist with calming down, aiding concentration, or shutting out overwhelming sounds. ‘Stims’ include actions such as rocking back and forth, flapping hands, and vocalising.

Systemic Oppression: The intentional disadvantaging of groups of people based on their identity while advantaging members of the dominant group (gender, race, class, sexual orientation, language etc.). Systemic oppression is systematic and has historical antecedents.


Tone-policing: A silencing and derailing tactic used by focusing on the delivery rather than the truth of the narrative. A form of microaggression.

Tourette Syndrome: Otherwise known as Tourette’s, this is a chronic condition characterised by involuntary motor and vocal tics, sudden, rapid, non-rhythmic, and recurrent actions. Tics can lead to pain and discomfort for some. Tourette’s is often misunderstood as a condition which only makes people swear or say socially inappropriate things (coprolalia), but it only affects a minority, 1 in 10 of those with Tourette’s. Up to 85% of people with Tourette’s will also experience comorbidities, which might include ADHD, OCD, and anxiety. It is estimated more than 300,000 people in the UK live with the condition.

Transgender/Trans: A term used to describe those whose gender identity and/or expression differs from their sex assigned at birth.

Transitioning: The myriad of actions transgender people may take to connect with the gender with which they identify.

Transphobia: Transphobia is a collection of ideas and phenomena that encompass a range of negative attitudes, feelings, or actions towards transgender people. This can include fear, aversion, hatred, violence, anger, or discomfort felt or expressed towards people who do not conform to societal gender expectations.


Unconscious Bias: Social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness. Everyone holds unconscious beliefs about various social and identity groups, and these biases stem from people’s tendency to organise by categorising.


White Fragility/Sensitivity: Weaponised defensiveness and intolerance against information regarding racial inequality or white supremacy.

White Privilege: The unquestioned and unearned advantages, entitlements, and choices for white people. Whiteness theory is how whiteness is centric in culture, creating the characteristic blindness of white people to the set of privileges associated with white identity.

White Supremacy: Prejudiced thoughts or discriminatory actions based on the belief that white people are superior to Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour.

Woke: Alert to injustice in society, especially racism.


Xenophobia: Prejudiced thoughts and discriminatory actions against those who are different from oneself, based on fear or hatred.


Zero Sum Game: The mindset relating to or denoting a situation in which whatever is gained by one side is lost by the other. We need to challenge this to emphasise that by ensuring someone is included does not mean someone else is excluded.